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G.R. No.

222541 February 15, 2017


RACHEL A. DEL ROSARIO vs. JOSE O. DEL ROSARIO and COURT OF
APPEALS

Civil Law: For psychological incapacity to be granted. Psychological


incapacity must be more than just a “difficulty,” “refusal” or “neglect” in the
performance of the marital obligations; it is not enough that a party prove
that the other failed to meet the responsibility and duty of a married
person. There must be proof of a natal or supervening disabling factor in
the person — an adverse integral element in the personality structure that
effectively incapacitates the person from really accepting and thereby
complying with the obligations essential to marriage — which must be
linked with the manifestations of the psychological incapacity.

PERLAS-BERNABE, J.:

FACTS: Petitioner, then 15 years old, met the respondent then 17 years old
in December 1983 and became romantically involved. Thereafter, in 1988,
the two got married and the petitioner went back to Hong Kong to work as a
domestic helper/caregiver, only returning to the Philippines once a year.

In September 2011, petitioner filed for declaration of nullity of


marriage before the RTC, alleging that the respondent was psychologically
incapacitated to fulfill his essential marital obligations. According to
respondent, her husband was hot tempered and violent stating instances
like punching her in the shoulder a few days before their wedding, hitting
his own father with a pipe, and locking her out of their house in the middle
of the night sometime in December 2007 when she fetched her relatives,
which he refused to perform. Also, respondent has been representing
himself as single, would flirt openly, and had an extramarital affair.
Petitioner admitted that it was only later in their married life that Jose
started frequenting bars and engaging in drinking sessions.

Petitioner presented testimonies of their child, her sister and and


expert testimony by a psychiatrist which diagnosed respondent as suffering
from Antisocial Personality Disorder. For his part, respondent maintained
that he had dutifully performed all of his marital and parental duties and
obligations, provided for his family’s financial and emotional needs, and
contributed to the building and maintenance of the conjugal home.
The RTC declared the marriage void on the ground of psychological
inacapacity relying on the witness testimony of the psychiatrist. Petitioner
appealed to the CA contending that his alleged refusal to seek employment,
violent nature and infidelity are not the serious, grave, and permanent
psychological condition that incapacitates him to perform his marital
obligations. CA ruled in favor of the respondent on the grounds that the
petitioner did not present enough evidence to sustatin that her husband was
psychologically incapacitated.

ISSUE: Whether or not psychological incapacity can be declared upon the


respondent

HELD: NEGATIVE. In sum, the psychological assessment, even when


taken together with the various testimonies, failed to show the respondent’s
immaturity, irresponsibility, and infidelity rise to the level of psychological
incapacity that would justify the nullification of the parties’ marriage. To
reiterate and emphasize, psychological incapacity must be more than just a
“difficulty,” “refusal” or “neglect” in the performance of the marital
obligations; it is not enough that a party prove that the other failed to meet
the responsibility and duty of a married person. There must be proof of a
natal or supervening disabling factor in the person which must be linked
with the manifestations of the psychological incapacity.